Monday, August 29, 2016

MAPA 10: Good Vibrations

Our school hosted the Metroplex Arnis Players Alliance 10th Gathering recently.

The original idea of MAPA was to bring together as many people as we could interested in the Filipino Martial Arts (and closely related arts when possible) at a Gathering, share different things that we know, learn new stuff or perspectives on what we already know, and to have fun.  We have no ranks and no politics.  We rotate instructors and locations.  We keep the cost minimal in order to be  accessible to as many people as possible.

Having fun - and creating relationships between us - is perhaps most important of these goals.

I've enjoyed each MAPA.  Every one we have has a different flavor.  This one had a fantastic vibe and at the end, everyone was really pleased at the material presented and the fellowship we all shared.  If we'd ended the series here, we would have ended it on a very high note, indeed, because this MAPA lived - really lived - all of the goals we set out to achieve.

The four instructors (in order of presentation at MAPA 10):

Art Miraflor:  Cabales Serrada Escrima, on loan to Texas for a couple of years from Stockton, California, to our benefit and their loss.  Master Art taught various knife techniques.

Image by Mark Lynn

Jason Gutierrez: Force Necessary, one of the top guys under Hock Hoccheim who always has amazing material.  Guro Jason taught stick grappling.

Image by Mark Lynn

Jackie Bradbury: Presas Arnis, yours truly. I taught translating sinawali patterns into boxing drills.

Image by Mark Lynn

Lacelles McCarthy II: Senkotiros Arnis, who drove up from Temple - 2 hours or so to participate when our original Senkotiros instructor, Kimberly Davis, got invited to judge at the Taekwondo Junior Team Trials at the Olympic Training Center (so understandably, she had to bow out).  Tuhon Lacelles taught striking principles and drills from Senkotiros.

Yes, I was drafted into the teaching rotation this time around.  I was the lowest ranked person teaching, but I riffed on material that +Datu Hartman showed at the Modern Arnis Unity Camp so my session went really well.  You can't go wrong when you share what you learned from someone who knows their stuff.

When writing about MAPA, I've used the term "family" a lot - and this MAPA probably felt more like that more than any other.  Having Master Miraflor and Tuhon McCarthy in the rotation with arts that are a very different lineage brought that home.  What they taught was from a different perspective but it was still... arnis.  Still in the family, familiar enough for us to understand and enjoy.

That is the beauty of the FMA's, after all - thousands (literally) of lineages and points of view, and yet, it's all close enough to each other that it's not too difficult for all of us to join in and learn.  The material was never out of reach for any of us (including our kid students).

Add in MAPA's style and rank agnostic point of view, and MAPA gatherings are ALWAYS a good time full of friendship, fun, and learning.

MAPA will be going to a twice-a-year cycle, so the next one will probably be in the Spring of 2017.

If you're on Facebook, like the MAPA page, and please, come on out to MAPA 11.  It doesn't matter how experienced you are or what lineage you're from (if any) in the Filipino Martial Arts.  All we ask is that you come with an open mind, ready to play and to make friends!